CONTROVERSIAL new land reform laws have been passed overwhelmingly at Holyrood.

The Scottish Government's Land Reform Bill, hailed as "radical" by SNP ministers, has been attacked in equal measure for being both too timid and overly extreme. It was backed by 102 votes with only 14 Conservative MSPs opposing it.

It will see communities able to force the sale of land in limited circumstances, end tax relief for sporting estates, bring in new protections for tenant farmers and see a register of who owns land in Scotland drawn up.

However, it will not limit the amount of land one per person can own or ensure secretive firms in offshore tax havens cannot own land, as some campaigners had pushed for. Amendments that would have restricted ownership in British Overseas Territories such as the Cayman Islands were voted down by SNP and Conservative backbenchers during a lengthy debate.

In other quarters, the proposals have been characterised the legislation as an "ideologically driven class war" on the countryside and landowners, amid warnings it will cost rural jobs.

Richard Lochhead, the environment secretary, accused the Scottish Conservatives of being "stuck in the 18th Century" by failing to back his measures and described the reforms as "historic".

He said they delivered on a pledge made by Nicola Sturgeon, made shortly after she became First Minister, when she said Scotland's land "must be an asset that benefits the many, not the few."

Andy Wightman, the Scottish Greens land reform spokesman, described the legislation as "limited", highlighting a lack of action on tax dodgers and derelict land. He added: "With a government majority it's simply baffling that the SNP - whose own membership has been agitating for radical measures - have passed up the opportunity to deliver real reforms."

Following the passage of the Bill, the Community Land Scotland campaign group said the country's land reform journey was "far from over" but hailed the latest development as "another important staging post along the road.”

A spokesman for The Scottish Gamekeepers Association warned that the reforms, particularly an end to tax perks for sporting estates, were likely to make rural job losses inevitable.